Optimism for growth in the North American construction industry remains high but digital transformation success hinges on human-centric implementation, Outlook says
Ninety-nine percent of North American capital project and construction professionals are optimistic about their organization’s future. Digital technology is the top driver of growth but change management must improve for successful transformation
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – InEight Inc., a global leader in construction project management software, today launches its second annual Global Capital Projects Outlook. The Outlook draws insights from research conducted with 300 of the world’s largest capital project owners and contractor construction professionals across North America, Europe and APAC.
The research reveals that 99% of North American respondents – the highest globally – are either very or fairly optimistic about their organization’s growth prospects for the next year, up from 97% in 2021. Digital technologies (54%) offer the top opportunity for growth, however almost all (95%) North American respondents said that their experience of change management left room for improvement, signaling a need for a more sophisticated, human-centric approach to technology implementation.
Tracking the global sentiment, North American respondents identified uneven or sporadic implementation (55%), process and data integration issues (54%) and technical and system limitations (49%) as the top frustrations caused by technology upgrades. North American respondents were also most likely to say that legacy ways of working prevent them from adopting new tools and processes in comparison to other regions (52% vs a 46% average).
Commenting on the Outlook, Jake Macholtz, CEO, InEight, says: “Encouraged by record planned infrastructure investment in North America, everyone we speak to is talking about growth opportunities for both owners and contractors. The optimism, resilience and confidence of the industry is almost tangible it’s so strong. This is especially promising given the economic backdrop that organizations are operating within, the difficulty in breaking away from the past, and the challenge of digital transformation. However, it’s also the prospect of leveraging digital technologies to build a better world that is keeping spirits high.”
The Outlook found that respondents see digital technology as broadly helpful in their day-to-day roles, particularly, having reassurance of environment, health & safety (EHS) policy adherence (56%) and gaining detailed and holistic information on projects and events (53%).
However, highlighting the need for a human-centric approach, 92% of North American respondents said they had concerns about the future of digital transformation. Reduced in-person communication (45%), increased difficulty in understanding site/project reality (43%), and professional experience and human intuition being replaced by technology (35%) were all cited, reflecting similar concerns to their global peers.
When asked what benefits they hoped digital transformation could deliver in future, North American respondents said greater strategic insights (49%), more automation (46%), better communication (46%) and more control (44%) were all on the wish list.
“Respondents are clear on the benefits of digital technologies and eager to realize this new vision of the future but right now we are falling short when it comes to managing organizational change, making digital transformation unnecessarily arduous.” Macholtz says.
A tenuous operating environment
Against a backdrop of supply chain shortages, inflationary pressure, energy challenges, and war in Ukraine, capital project owners and contractors are unshakably positive about the direction for the industry. Notably, North American respondents reported a significant increase in construction and capital projects spending (up from 61% last year to 75% in 2022).
In a departure from last year’s Outlook, the completion of projects on time and on budget , as reported by contractors, has fallen dramatically (-23% and -26% respectively) with the region performing worse than other regions. An inability to see current project status and data at a detailed level (54% vs a 47% global average) was reported as a key influence on North American respondents’ project performance.
“Many projects become late and over budget because of poor planning, not poor execution,” Macholtz says. “Many organizations lack rich, real-time data on project performance and progress, so they are repeatedly blindsided by unmanaged or unexpected risks and miss opportunities to make smarter decisions.”
To access the full report, visit ineight.com/annual-global-capital-projects-report
About Global Capital Projects Outlook from InEight
This report is based on a survey of 300 large enterprise capital project and construction professionals, conducted in March 2022, via an online survey.
The survey included 26 questions designed to gauge general confidence and optimism levels across the industry, and assess track record, plans and attitudes towards digital transformation.
Of the 300 respondents, with 100 participants drawn from each of our focus regions of the Americas, Europe and APAC, giving each equal weighting in the report. Globally, 67% of respondents are project owners, and 33% are contractors.
All respondents work in construction, however in order to get a true reading of the global construction sector worldwide, we included those working in construction roles within broader industries, including:
|Oil, Gas and Utilities||Health Services||Local Government|
|Central Government or Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB)||Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals||Healthcare Products and Technologies|
The survey has been designed and conducted in conjunction with a specialized global enterprise technology market research partner, with results then analyzed and submitted to InEight experts for commentary based on their experiences and vantage points in the industry.
Where possible, results have been compared to our previous survey in 2021. However, this is not possible in all cases due to new questions and wording alterations in this year’s edition.
InEight provides field-tested project management software for the owners, contractors, engineers and designers who are building the world around us. Over 575,000 users and more than 850 customers worldwide rely on InEight for real-time insights that help manage risk and keep projects on schedule and under budget across the entire life cycle.
From pre-planning to design, from estimating to scheduling, and from field execution to turnover, InEight has powered more than $1 trillion in projects globally across infrastructure, public sector, energy and power, oil, gas and chemical, mining, and commercial. For more information, follow InEight on LinkedIn or visit InEight.com.